The Interview Series: 003 - Barbarita Lara, Chile
Barbarita is a tech entrepreneur, computer engineer, coder driven by social innovation. She is currently CEO and Co-Founder of EMERCOM, a tech company that creates disruptive communications solutions and project chief of S!E (Emergency Information System).
Awarded as “MIT Technology Review: Innovators under 35 LATAM” in 2017, “Leaders in Innovation” Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering 2016/2017, Gifted Citizen 2017 and recognized in her country and university as a young leader for her contribution to the community and work in technological innovation.
What does your Company do?
EMERCOM is a Chilean tech company that creates disruptive communications solutions.
What is your Project about?
S!E is an emergency information system that enables people who live in a place affected by a catastrophic emergency to receive information in their smartphone. The system uses a high frequency algorithm that encodes information over audio and can be distributed over radio bridging the analog and digital world using the existing FM radio infrastructure.
Why are you doing this, what is driving you?
I really want to help the world and leave it as a better place for my son.
What is your background?
I’m a computer engineering and master’s candidate of information technology from the Technical University Federico Santa María in Valparaiso, Chile.
How did you end up doing this?
On February 27 2010, a massive 8.8 earthquake hit Chile and left us completely isolated and a later tsunami that wasn’t properly warned killed 156 people. At that moment I felt the need to help with engineering...that's why S!E was born.
What does success look like?
I think it looks like satisfaction. I can tell you when I see him, when I can help to everyone.
What is your biggest challenge that you have to overcome to make your company/project a success?
The lack of support that many times a social innovation project must endure The passion for what we do made us strong and through engineering we are making a better world!
Do you have time to do anything else?
Ha! I’m a mother, wife, speaker, master’s candidate of information technology and a frustrated gamer without time to play.
What do you do outside work to keep sane?
Karaoke and read a lot.
What would be your biggest tip to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Never give up, believe in yourself and your vision, do not be afraid of failing and do not be afraid of sharing your ideas and vision with others.
What keeps you awake at night?
The fact that there is still so much to learn and improve...to be able to help everyone!